Friday, April 14, 2006


"I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself." ~Lone Man, 19th century Teton Sioux leader

I often joke about how I'm the stereotypical writer, a hermit who could live in a cave for some time without missing "civilization." I joke about how I don't "play well with others" and am happy for the solitary life of a freelancer.

But the truth is, the writer can't live in a vacuum. The article writer's bread and butter are his interview subjects. He has editors to communicate with, and on a bad day, perhaps some Accounts Payable personnel to call. The marketing-savvy novelist isn't going to have a clue what topics are striking a chord with readers unless he is among his readers. A writer may be more at home with his own company, as I am, but communicators by nature must deal with others--sometimes LOTS of others.

I was reminded of the wisdom of Lone Man's quote while preparing my introduction of Stephen Fried at The Write Stuff conference on April 8. There's no way a single person could pull off an event like that, and chairing it stretched me in wonderful (and sometimes challenging) ways. It was a big way to get out of my comfort zone, and I'm a different person for it. Hopefully a better person for it.

What I'm working on today: Keep Going by Joseph Marshall III, a book of Native American wisdom about persevering

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